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Nitro


Member

Posted Fri Jul 24th, 2009 5:36pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
http://www.theroot.com/views/lawyers-statement-arrest-henry-louis-gates-jr

I think this man was interviewed by Stephen in that America series, wasn't he? Or am I confusing him with someone else?

In any event, this professor at Harvard was arrested on the front porch of the house he lives in because a white woman saw him and his driver going in and out of the house. She assumed he was breaking and entering and called the police.

Professor Gates is an older black man. Would an older white man have appeared as 'suspicious' to her?

Really? Wow.

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ginj


Member *

Posted Fri Jul 24th, 2009 5:49pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
Since she thought it was odd that a black man was going in and out of the residence, I am going to assume that it was not a black neighborhood. That may be wrong of me. But that would lead me to believe it was a primarily white neighborhood. So I would go out on a limb and say that it would not look as suspicious for a white man to be going in and out of a house in a white neighborhood. I do not blame the woman for reporting something that appeared suspicious to her. Nor do I blame the police officer for following up on the complaint and having to deal with someone who was uncooperative. Professor Gates may have been upset at having to explain himself in his own residence, and I do not blame him for that. But to refuse to follow instruchtions of a police officer (the same instructions that would have been given to a real intruder) is not excusable. The officer was protecting Prof. Gates' property and Prof. Gates was not cooperating with the officers. Fortunately for the Professor I am sure that he officers will continue to respond and keep his person and property safe in the future, dispite his apparent disregard for their efforts.

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Fri Jul 24th, 2009 6:03pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
It's a sad comment that people don't know their own neighbours well enough to recognise them; not purely an American phenomenon, either. Or was the professor "invisible" to the lady until he crossed some sort of threshhold?

Question here: what will happen now a high status individual has been subjected to this wrongful arrest? If the statement in the article is correct, the officer failed to observe correct procedure, and this being the case, what other breaches has he committed before he came up against someone with enough weight to be able to push back?

Sadly, to the outside world, many American police officers and the forces they serve appear arrogant, bullying and racist to the point of fully justifying the title of nazi. This is a shame, as there are undoubtedly many more good, kind, decent, brave officers of the law unobtrusively making the world a safe and pleasant place.

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Fri Jul 24th, 2009 6:17pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
http://www.theroot.com/views/lawyers-statement-arrest-henry-louis-gates-jr

I think this man was interviewed by Stephen in that America series, wasn't he? Or am I confusing him with someone else?

In any event, this professor at Harvard was arrested on the front porch of the house he lives in because a white woman saw him and his driver going in and out of the house. She assumed he was breaking and entering and called the police.

Professor Gates is an older black man. Would an older white man have appeared as 'suspicious' to her?

The man in SF's show was Professor Peter J. Gomes.

I understood that they were seen trying to gain entry into the house through a window because they were locked out, and if that's the case then I can see how it might look that way. Do we now really want to make folks too frightened to notify authorities if we see what may amount to a crime in progress? I can see both sides of this, but I'm really concerned about the precedent it may be setting. I would be grateful if someone did that for me, does my race affect my feelings about that? I don't know, maybe.

There's a press conference about it on CNN right now.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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Nitro


Member

Posted Fri Jul 24th, 2009 7:07pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
Hang on a second now...

He was not going through any windows from what I've read, but rather had had to enter through another door and then come out the front door, where he and the driver were trying to figure out why it was damaged AND he had called in about the damage. But even if he HAD gone through a window ( I've had to do that in my own home, but because I was forgetful ), what I'd like to know is...how long had Professor Gates resided there? To me, that would be a definite influence on the profiling issue. If he JUST moved in or had only lived there for a few days...OK...that sorta makes a difference. But if he'd been living there for WEEKS or MONTHS...um, yeah...still, when he FIRST moved in..there'd be a moving truck, and that generally draws neighbors attentions to look out the window...and ok, there's a black man moving in, big deal...but it would seem this woman reporting, in that case, was probably not a nearby neighbor of his either...

He also returned home, apparantly, at a time of day his neighbors were out at work. Because seems like someone else who lived nearby would've walked over and spoken w/one of the officers.

And the cop did NOT follow protocols. Let's remember that he was hauled off to jail and sat there for FOUR hours. It could've easily been established within that time frame wether he resided there or not....and given he'd shown them his identification(s), one quick call to Harvard would've settled it fairly quickly...

Given the professor let the cop into the house and then asked for his badge number...that says Gates', to me, was already ticked off about something...probably a long flight home combined w/having trouble getting in combined with having the police show up on his doorstep...yeah, I could see where he'd be pretty irritated having to entertain the notion that he was a burglar...

Black people often say white people are too willing to casually dismiss their own racism. I'm just wondering if maybe that's true still.

And yes, there are many, many good people in uniform. They're under intense stress every day and take a lot of abuse from the people they're supposed to serve and protect. No doubt about it. It would be nice to have some source that is truly objective simply relay the facts without hyperbole.

Really? Wow.

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tito


Member *

Posted Fri Jul 24th, 2009 7:11pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
http://www.theroot.com/views/lawyers-statement-arrest-henry-louis-gates-jr

I think this man was interviewed by Stephen in that America series, wasn't he? Or am I confusing him with someone else?

In any event, this professor at Harvard was arrested on the front porch of the house he lives in because a white woman saw him and his driver going in and out of the house. She assumed he was breaking and entering and called the police.

Professor Gates is an older black man. Would an older white man have appeared as 'suspicious' to her?


Terrible event.

It is worth mentioning however that here in merrie England, about 20 years ago, a black male friend (work colleague) was constantly pulled over by the police when driving and was asked to confirm his ownership of the car. (A very nice car that he worked flaming hard to get).

His response at my disgust was to shrug and say 'It's just the way of the world'.

Sad it happened, (it didn't happen with white colleagues of the same sex and age), but I was even more sad at his placid acceptance of it.

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gjhsu


Moderator

Posted Fri Jul 24th, 2009 7:28pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32122233

Here is the officer's account of the affair.

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ginj


Member *

Posted Fri Jul 24th, 2009 8:26pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
Let's remember that he was hauled off to jail and sat there for FOUR hours. It could've easily been established within that time frame wether he resided there or not....and given he'd shown them his identification(s), one quick call to Harvard would've settled it fairly quickly...
He wasn't being held because they couldn't figure out if he lived there or not, he was being held because he was charged with disorderly conduct.

How long the Professor had been living there really doesn't matter. The woman didn't know who he was, thought something was suspicious and called police to investigate. I see nothing wrong with that behavior. It may be she who recently moved to the neighborhood for all we know. Personally. I feel the President's decision to mention in his press conference was way out of line, and I will now be watching his words and actions more carefully.

Tito, I would like to say that your anecdote was from twenty years ago and things have changed since then, the best I can say is I think things are slowly improving. And I can give you a story almost identical to the one you told (same time frame and response from the man being stopped).

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Sat Jul 25th, 2009 11:21am Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
One thing I will point out here is that police here seem these days to be trained at a basic level to be assertive; this can be misconstrued as aggressive and offensive by some people. Perhaps if the same applies in America, or at least in that police force, the professor reacted to a negative presentation by the policeman.

I doubt very much if any comments here will make their way back to the two participants in the event, but perhaps we should all look more to diplomacy than confrontation in our lives. An old saying, sounds slightly odd in our modern electronic automated world, but "honey traps more flies than vinegar".

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

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tito


Member *

Posted Sat Jul 25th, 2009 1:22pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
An old saying, sounds slightly odd in our modern electronic automated world, but "honey traps more flies than vinegar".[/quote]

How true this is.

We don't know, do we, if prof Gates has previously had problems with the police. But I certainly believe he knows plenty of innocent people who have had problems because of their race.

I do and I'm a white English village dweller.

Perhaps he was expecting an attitude and became overly defensive?

This is obviously and educated and respected man. I doubt he exhibited 'yobbish' , almost certainly out of character behaviour without some deep seated reason.

I hope he speaks on the subj further. This isn't to say the police officer was necessarily wrong, just that he may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

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tito


Member *

Posted Sat Jul 25th, 2009 1:30pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
Let's remember that he was hauled off to jail and sat there for FOUR hours. It could've easily been established within that time frame wether he resided there or not....and given he'd shown them his identification(s), one quick call to Harvard would've settled it fairly quickly...
He wasn't being held because they couldn't figure out if he lived there or not, he was being held because he was charged with disorderly conduct.

How long the Professor had been living there really doesn't matter. The woman didn't know who he was, thought something was suspicious and called police to investigate. I see nothing wrong with that behavior. It may be she who recently moved to the neighborhood for all we know. Personally. I feel the President's decision to mention in his press conference was way out of line, and I will now be watching his words and actions more carefully.

Tito, I would like to say that your anecdote was from twenty years ago and things have changed since then, the best I can say is I think things are slowly improving. And I can give you a story almost identical to the one you told (same time frame and response from the man being stopped).

I certainly hope they're improving. But then here in Britain we recently had two right wing racists (BNP members) elected to the European parliament, and while just under a million voted for them, and that may not seem a great deal, a lot of us here felt it was a huge step backwards. A shameful episode in our recent history.

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Sat Jul 25th, 2009 6:21pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
And the cop did NOT follow protocols. Let's remember that he was hauled off to jail and sat there for FOUR hours. It could've easily been established within that time frame wether he resided there or not....and given he'd shown them his identification(s), one quick call to Harvard would've settled it fairly quickly...

Another police officer responded to that call as well, an African American police officer, who claims that the correct protocol was followed and that racism absolutely was not involved. I can see how Gates would feel indignant, I wouldn't want the law cross examining me in my own home either, so I don't fault him for feeling that way one bit, but trash talking the po-po's mama wasn't smart, just antagonistic. This ridiculous flaring of tempers cost the professor a trip to the pokey for disorderly conduct, and while the police officer may have followed protocol, he also had the choice to use discretion and didn't, so we need to change these "protocols" so we can perhaps cut down on these incidents.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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Nitro


Member

Posted Sat Jul 25th, 2009 7:29pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
OK...

You fly home from...China wasn't it?...bit of a time in travel there X-D ...drive thru traffic...and come home and find getting in your house difficult because for some damn reason your door's been damaged..keep in mind you need the assistance of a cane to get around...and the whole door thing unnerves you and you make a call about it...

you finally get in, the driver's helped you in with your luggage...you're probably so freaking tired you can't see straight and just want to relax and hit the sack....but whoops..what's this? The POLICE are at YOUR door and questioning you about your presence in your own home...

add to this fact you're a black man, not a Harvard professor, on the surface...

I don't know about you, but I would be pretty freaking miffed by this time.

I don't believe in authority being absolute and that if we all just go along with it, we'll all be fine. It's the apathy that has lent itself to that whole Big Brother-ing on the part of governments really steamrolling holy hell out of ALL of our rights and civil liberties. Freedom is becoming illusory in a manner...

Anyway, I think the cops played fast and loose with the whole 'disorderly' charge...he was tired, irritated, probably hurting, and now his privacy's being invaded and instead of it being quickly handled with a couple of phone calls...far too many police are called onto the scene...they dragged the attention to themselves...that's not Gates fault...he didn't physically attack the officer and had no weapons nor threatend to use any....so it took THAT MANY police to deal with an elderly and handicapped black man in his own home?

give me a break...

I don't believe for a minute if he had been an older, white male that this same thing would've unfolded the way it did...

That's just my perspective though..

Really? Wow.

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Sat Jul 25th, 2009 8:38pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
I don't disagree, I'm just saying the police have too much power and leverage, and it's sad that we have to sometimes consider this when we find ourselves in these predicaments. It's the protocol which allows, enables and even encourages police to behave like this which needs changing, and that's my perspective. Are you eyeballin' me? X-D

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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ginj


Member *

Posted Sat Jul 25th, 2009 10:47pm Post subject: Professor Gates arrested for being in his own home
I don't believe in authority being absolute and that if we all just go along with it, we'll all be fine. It's the apathy that has lent itself to that whole Big Brother-ing on the part of governments really steamrolling holy hell out of ALL of our rights and civil liberties. Freedom is becoming illusory in a manner...
I may agree with you if this was a random stop on the street, or they followed him into his house because they thought he was drunk, or something like that. But, in this particular case, they were there investigating what they thought at the time was a crime. They were there protecting, or so they thought, the Professor's property (they probably had already checked on the name of the homeowner, but were unfamiliar with him personally). That gives them the right to be more assertive (not aggressive) in getting the answers to their questions. This was not a profiling case where they reacted based upon his skin color, they responded based on the information they were given (that a crime was being committed), and were then met by an uncooperative man who bristled at being asked to prove he had the right to be there. If he had cooperated and understood that the police were there to protect his property, based upon a suspicious person call from a neighbor, things would not have gotten to the point they did. And again, the President addressing the issue in a national address is completely inappropriate.

ETA: Let me also say (and I don't know if they did in this case or not), but they also would have been justified if they had their weapons unhooked because they were going into a situation where a crime was reportedly being committed. To their knowledge at the time they entered that house they were confronting a criminal, whether he was black white or orange with purple stripes. That information was, as it turned out, wrong. Whether the initial information was given to them maliciously because someone thought it would be fun to hassle the black neighbor or not I don't know, but the police were only responding to the information they had at the time. The fact that the Professor chose not to cooperate (because he was tired and grumpy or whatever) only escalated the situation.

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